Track And Field To Host Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational On Saturday

April 29, 2009

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    The 2009 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational
    Stanford will once again host the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on Saturday, May 2, from Cobb Track and Angell Field. This year the meet will take on extra significance with the passing of Payton Jordan this past February. The former Stanford head coach and legend in the sport will be honored during the meet. The meet will once again be highlighted by the distance fields, which include some of the best athletes from around the nation and the world. The fields include collegiate as well as professional runners looking to run under the ideal conditions that Cobb track traditionally presents during a spring evening. Last season U.S. Olympian, Shalane Flanagan set the American Record in the women's 10,000 meters, which ranked at the top of several tremendous performances.

    The majority of the Stanford teams will compete in all track and field events. Again, this season the Cardinal distance runners will take center stage, competing against top flight competition. The men will be led by Garrett and Elliot Heath who will compete in the 1,500 meters, as well as Chris Derrick who will compete in the 5,000. Garrett Heath is an Olympic Trials semifinalist in the event, while Derrick will be looking to run one of the fastest times ever by an American junior. Derrick has a 5,000-meter personal best of 13:44.02, while the American junior record is 13:37.91. The women will be led by Lauren Centrowitz, Alicia Follmar and Laurynne Chetelat, who are each coming off All-America seasons indoors in the 3,000 meters and will be competing in the 1,500 meters this weekend.

    Stanford Sweeps The Big Meet
    For a third consecutive year the Stanford track and field teams swept the Big Meet. The Stanford women cruised to a 92-71 win, taking an early lead to leave no doubt who the eventual winner would be. The men's meet was much closer with Stanford winning 83-80. The meet was not clinched until the 3,000 meters, the second to last event of the meet. Myles Bradley highlighted the day for Stanford winning three events and breaking his own school record in the 110-meter hurdles. Bradley's time of 13.61 was also a new Big Meet record. Bradley also captured the long jump and the triple jump, achieving personal bests in both events. His marks of 24-9 ¾ in the long jump and 49-7 in the triple jump were both regional standards. Also breaking a school record for Stanford was Amaechi Morton in the 400-meter hurdles. Morton ran a time of 50.11 to take the Big Meet title. The Stanford freshman broke the record of 50.4 set by Randy White in 1971. The women were led by Arantxa King who won both the long jump and triple jump. King achieved regional standards of 21-2 ¾ in the long jump and 42-3 ¼ in the triple jump. Both marks were collegiate bests for the Stanford sophomore and moved her to third on both the Stanford all-time long jump and triple jump lists. Katerina Stefanidi also starred for Stanford on Saturday, setting the school record in the pole vault with a mark of 13-6 ½. Stefanidi fell short of the Big Meet title in an exciting jump off with reigning NCAA champion, Katie Morgan of Cal.

    Distance Runners Highlight The Stanford Invitational
    Stanford was led by Laurynne Chetelat in the 5,000 meters as she ran the second-fastest time ever by an American junior. Only Molly Huddle of Notre Dame who ran 15:36.95 in 2003 has run faster for someone who will not turn 19 in that calendar year. Chetelat's time of 15:43.31 also placed her fourth in an elite field, including second amongst collegiate runners. The time was the sixth-fastest all-time at Stanford and the second-fastest all-time for a freshman. It was also easily a regional standard for Chetelat.

    Three other Cardinal runners established the regional standard in the 5,000 meters as well. Georgia Griffin led the trio running in the second heat with a time of 16:30.81. In addition, Emilie Amaro and Stephanie Marcy finished in a near dead heat with times of 16:36.40 and 16:36.43, respectively.

    The men were led by an entertaining race by the Heath brothers. The brothers were paced early by rabbit Jacob Evans before younger brother Elliott Heath passed his older brother and began to push the pace over the final few laps. Despite Elliott's lead, Garrett Heath used a strong final kick to edge his brother at the line. Garrett's time of 13:42.27 was personal best for the eight-time All-American. Elliot also set a personal best with a time of 13:42.59 just two weeks after earning his first All-America honor by placing third in the 3,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The times also place the Heath brothers eighth and ninth on the Stanford all-time list.

    Also with a big race in the distances was Jacob Riley in the 10,000 meters. Riley finished with a huge personal best to achieve the provisional standard with a time of 29.15.53.

    Stanford Completes Outstanding Indoor Season
    The Cardinal completed an outstanding 2009 indoor season at the NCAA Indoor Championships, where the men finished 11th and the women 12th. Every Stanford athlete that qualified to compete at the national meet earned All-America honors.

    The women were led by senior Lauren Centrowitz who finished third in the 3,000 meters and anchored the distance medley relay team that finished fourth. Alicia Follmar was also a two-time All-America in the 3,000 where she finished eighth and as a member of the DMR. Idara Otu and Maria Lattanzi also earned All-America honors in the DMR, while Laurynne Chetelat captured her first All-America honor in the 3,000 meters as well. The other Stanford All-American for the women was Whitney Liehr who finished 10th in the heptathlon.

    The men were led by freshman Chris Derrick who placed fourth in the 5,000 meters and fifth in the 3,000 meters in his first NCAA track meet. Elliot Heath also competed in the 3k where he finished third to earn the first All-America honor of his career. Also a first-time All-American was Myles Bradley who finished fifth in the 110-meter hurdles.

    Returning All-Americans
    The Cardinal women return seven All-Americans for the outdoor season, including three athletes who earned their first All-America honors during the indoor season. Seven-time All-American Lauren Centrowitz leads the Cardinal fresh off two more All-America honors during the indoor season. Alicia Follmar is a four-time All-American after earning two All-America honors in each of the last two seasons at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Earning an All-America honor the last two years as a member of that DMR team is Idara Otu. Freshmen Laurynne Chetelat (3,000 meters) and Maria Lattanzi (DMR) are coming off an indoor season where they earned their first All-America honor. Whitney Liehr also picked up her first All-America honor indoors in the heptathlon. Finally, Alexandra Gits picked up her first All-America honor last season outdoors in the 10,000 meters where she finished third at the NCAA Championships.

    A total of nine men who have earned All-America honors at Stanford will be back for the outdoor season. The men will be led by eight-time All-American Garrett Heath who returns after his best cross country season, but did not compete for Stanford indoors because his eligibility had been exhausted. He will be joined by his brother Elliott Heath who earned the first All-America honor of his career in the 3,000 meters at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships. Freshman Chris Derrick is already a three-time All-American after a seventh-place finish in cross country and earning a pair of All-America honors during the indoor track season. Other returning All-Americans in the distances are two-time All-American Hakon DeVries, Jacob Evans and Hari Mix. A pair of 400-meter runners who earned their All-America honors as members of the distance medley relay return. Andrew Dargie is coming off an impressive 2008 freshman season where he was a member of the DMR team that finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships, in addition to qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the open 400 meters. Chandy earned his All-America honor as a member of the DMR in 2007. Finally, newly anointed All-American Myles Bradley will look to build on his fifth place finish indoors in the 60-meter hurdles, outdoors in the 110-meter hurdles.

    Other Impact Returners
    The Cardinal women have several other impact returners including 2008 Olympian Arantxa King. King competed for Bermuda in Beijing and was also a key contributor for Stanford last season as she qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the long jump. Also excelling in the long jump was Griffin Matthew, who returns after being one of two Stanford athletes to qualify for the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships in two events. She qualified in the 100 meters as well as the long jump. Lauren Stewart returns for her senior season where she will look to return to the NCAA's in the heptathlon. A pair of throwers return after qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships last season. Jaynie Goodbody (hammer) should be a threat in the hammer, while Michaela Wallerstedt looks for a return trip to the NCAA's in the shot put. In the distances, Kate Niehaus returns fresh off a MPSF title in the 5,000 meters during the indoor season.

    Impact returners for the men include a duo of sophomore distance runners, Brendan Gregg and Jacob Riley. The duo made up a big portion of the 2008 cross country team that finished third in the nation. In addition, they were both NCAA provisional qualifiers in the 5,000 meters during the 2009 indoor season. Junior Justin-Marpole Bird also returns after being a finalist at 1,500 meters at the 2008 West Regional Championships and being a NCAA provisional qualifier in the mile during the 2009 indoor season. In the pole vault, Casey Roche returns after reaching a personal best of 17-1 during the indoor season.

    Top Newcomers
    In addition to the deep group of returners, Stanford has several freshmen ready to contribute right away, including Laurynne Chetelat and Maria Lattanzi who became All-Americans during the indoor season. Former world youth record holder Katerina Stefanidi looks to make an immediate impact in the pole vault after clearing 13-5 1/4 during the indoor season. She will be joined in the pole vault by Caitlin Hewitt who reached 12-11 1/2 during the indoor season. In the distances, Emilie Amaro had a strong cross country season and followed that up with NCAA provisional marks in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters during the indoor season.

    Joining Derrick as a potential freshmen that could contribute right away are Geoffrey Tabor, Amaechi Morton and Dylan Ferris. Tabor is the 2008 junior national champion in the discus and Morton was the USATF national runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles, while becoming a NCAA provisional qualifier in the 400 meters during the indoor season. Ferris ran a time of 1:50.10 in the 800 meters during the indoor season to become an NCAA provisional qualifier.

    Stanford Women Win MPSF Championships
    Despite competing against three higher ranked teams, the Stanford women captured the MPSF Championship. The Cardinal entered the meet ranked No. 25 in the nation, but got four individual titles on their way to the conference title. Stanford distance runners led the way with three of the titles as Lauren Centrowitz won the mile, Laurynne Chetelat captured the 3,000 meters and Kate Niehaus took home the 5,000-meter title. In addition Arantxa King captured the title in the triple jump. The Cardinal totaled 115 points, to best second-place Oregon who finished with 91.5 points.

    The men's team was led by Myles Bradley who captured the individual MPSF title in the 60-meter hurdles. The men finished seventh overall with 68 points. They were tightly bunched with six other teams trailing the MPSF champ, UCLA with 83.5.

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